Map of the Fortifications of Portsmouth, Virginia

This 1781 pen-and-ink and watercolor manuscript map shows the fortifications and houses of Portsmouth, Virginia, at the time of the American Revolution. Portsmouth served as a primary British post and naval base. On July 4, 1781, British general Charles Cornwallis (1738–1805) left Williamsburg, Virginia, in order to cross the James River and reach Portsmouth. Once at Portsmouth, the British army loaded onto transports. Cornwallis and his men then sailed to Yorktown, where the British defeat at the Siege of Yorktown would conclude the American Revolution. The map shows the military headquarters, fortifications, an artillery park, and powder magazine. Just outside the town is the Habitations de Negres, presumably slave quarters of some kind. The map shows the Portsmouth waterfront along the James and Elizabeth Rivers. Portsmouth was founded in 1752, but dates back even further as a notable shipbuilding site. The map is oriented with north to the right. Relief is shown by shading. Scale is given in toises, an old French unit measuring almost 1.95 meters. The map is from the Rochambeau Collection at the Library of Congress, which consists of 40 manuscript maps, 26 printed maps, and a manuscript atlas that belonged to Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau (1725‒1807), commander in chief of the French expeditionary army (1780‒82) during the American Revolution. Some of the maps were used by Rochambeau during the war. Dating from 1717 to 1795, the maps cover much of eastern North America, from Newfoundland and Labrador in the north to Haiti in the south. The collection includes maps of cities, maps showing Revolutionary War battles and military campaigns, and early state maps from the 1790s.

Detailed Map of West Point on the York River, at the Confluence of the Pamunkey and Matapony Rivers

This 1781 pen-and-ink and watercolor manuscript map shows the region around West Point, Virginia, situated at the point where the Pamunkey and Matapony (present-day Mattaponi) Rivers join to form the York River. The map shows soundings and channels in the rivers, as well as ferries, roads, and vegetation. The villages of Bingham, Delaware, and Brackson are shown, along with Brackson’s Plantation, and the Meredy, Smith, Dodleys, and other plantations. The road to Williamsburg is visible in the lower left, running inland from the right bank of the York River. Shepperd’s Warehouse is indicated on the left bank of the Matapony River, and an oyster bed is shown in the York River. Virginia was a colonial center of tobacco production, and the plantations most likely were part of the tobacco economy. Relief is shown by shading. Scale is given in miles. The map is from the Rochambeau Collection at the Library of Congress, which consists of 40 manuscript maps, 26 printed maps, and a manuscript atlas that belonged to Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau (1725‒1807), commander in chief of the French expeditionary army (1780‒82) during the American Revolution. Some of the maps were used by Rochambeau during the war. Dating from 1717 to 1795, the maps cover much of eastern North America, from Newfoundland and Labrador in the north to Haiti in the south. The collection includes maps of cities, maps showing Revolutionary War battles and military campaigns, and early state maps from the 1790s.

Map of the Environs of Williamsburg, York, Hampton, and Portsmouth

This pen-and-ink manuscript map of 1781 shows the towns of Williamsburg, York, Hampton, and Portsmouth, Virginia, as well as the surrounding regions of southeastern Virginia. The area shown on the map extends from Cape Henry on the Atlantic Ocean to Williamsburg and south to the Effroyables Marais, the French term for the area known as the Dismal Swamp. The map shows part of the Chesapeake Bay as well as the James and Elizabeth Rivers and the Hampton Roads waterway. It notes towns, roads, rivers, creeks, bridges, mills, and a salt house, along with Kemps Landing, Pungo Chapel, and the names of some residents. Scale is given in miles, and the map has a watermark. Founded in 1632, Williamsburg was the capital of colonial Virginia from 1699 until 1780. York (increasingly known as Yorktown after the Revolutionary War) was founded in 1691 and became a major port for the export of tobacco. Hampton was founded in 1610, and has claims to being the longest continuously occupied English settlement in the present-day United States. Portsmouth was founded in 1752 but was a shipbuilding site even before establishment of the town. The map is from the Rochambeau Collection at the Library of Congress, which consists of 40 manuscript maps, 26 printed maps, and a manuscript atlas that belonged to Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau (1725‒1807), commander in chief of the French expeditionary army (1780‒82) during the American Revolution. Some of the maps were used by Rochambeau during the war. Dating from 1717 to 1795, the maps cover much of eastern North America, from Newfoundland and Labrador in the north to Haiti in the south. The collection includes maps of cities, maps showing Revolutionary War battles and military campaigns, and early state maps from the 1790s.

Rochambeau’s Army, 1782. Map of the Williamsburg, Virginia Area, Where the French and American Armies Camped out in September 1781

This topographic pen-and-ink and watercolor manuscript map of the Williamsburg, Virginia, area was made in 1782 by Jean Nicolas Desandrouins, a French army engineer and cartographer, shortly after the October 1781 Battle of Yorktown. It shows the encampments and positions of the French and American forces in September 1781, on the eve of the battle. The map provides a detailed plan of Williamsburg and its environs, and shows the location of estates, towns, and other significant sites. It shows houses and public buildings in Williamsburg, plantations in the countryside, roads, creeks, ferries, mills, the “New Magazine,” and it gives the names of some local residents. A numbered key identifies military units, public buildings, and other points of interest. The map is oriented with north to the left. Relief is shown by hachures. Scale is given in toises, an old French unit measuring almost 1.95 meters. Yorktown, the last major land battle of the Revolutionary War, ended with the surrender of the British army under Lord Cornwallis to the combined French and American force and ultimately led to the Treaty of Paris of 1783 and British recognition of American independence. The map is from the Rochambeau Collection at the Library of Congress, which consists of 40 manuscript maps, 26 printed maps, and a manuscript atlas that belonged to Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau (1725‒1807), commander in chief of the French expeditionary army (1780‒82) during the American Revolution. Some of the maps were used by Rochambeau during the war. Dating from 1717 to 1795, the maps cover much of eastern North America, from Newfoundland and Labrador in the north to Haiti in the south. The collection includes maps of cities, maps showing Revolutionary War battles and military campaigns, and early state maps from the 1790s.

Map of York, Virginia Showing the Attacks by the French and American Armies in October 1781

This pen-and-ink and watercolor manuscript map shows the movements of the French and American armies in the vicinity of York, Virginia, in October 1781, during the Battle of Yorktown. The map is by Querenet de la Combe, a cartographer and lieutenant colonel of engineers with the army of the French commander, General Rochambeau. York (more commonly known as Yorktown after the Revolutionary War) was founded in 1691 and became a major port for the export of tobacco. The map shows British defenses at Yorktown, as well as the parallel formations of the French and Americans. A legend with a lettered key is used to highlight military fortifications and ship positions. The map also shows ships in the York River, fortifications on Gloucester Point across the river, vegetation, and houses and roads. Relief is shown by hachures. Scale is given in toises, an old French unit measuring almost 1.95 meters. Yorktown was the last major land battle of the Revolutionary War. The defeat of the British and the surrender of the army under Lord Cornwallis led to peace negotiations and conclusion of the Treaty of Paris of September 3, 1783, which officially ended hostilities and brought international recognition of American independence. The map is from the Rochambeau Collection at the Library of Congress, which consists of 40 manuscript maps, 26 printed maps, and a manuscript atlas that belonged to Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau (1725‒1807), commander in chief of the French expeditionary army (1780‒82) during the American Revolution. Some of the maps were used by Rochambeau during the war. Dating from 1717 to 1795, the maps cover much of eastern North America, from Newfoundland and Labrador in the north to Haiti in the south. The collection includes maps of cities, maps showing Revolutionary War battles and military campaigns, and early state maps from the 1790s.

Map of the Fortifications of Yorktown, Virginia

This pen-and-ink and watercolor manuscript map shows an unfinished plan for the Siege of Yorktown in September‒October 1781. York (more commonly known as Yorktown after the Revolutionary War) was founded in 1691 and became a major port for the export of tobacco. The map shows the British defenses, advance redoubts, and roads leading into the town. It is oriented with north to the upper left. Relief is shown by hachures, and scale is approximately 1:5,000. The map has imperfections, including trimming on the upper and right edges. It also has creases, and several holes along or near the folds. Yorktown was the last major land battle of the Revolutionary War. The defeat of the British and the surrender of their army under General Lord Cornwallis led to peace negotiations and conclusion of the Treaty of Paris of September 3, 1783, which officially ended hostilities and brought international recognition of American independence. The map is from the Rochambeau Collection at the Library of Congress, which consists of 40 manuscript maps, 26 printed maps, and a manuscript atlas that belonged to Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau (1725‒1807), commander in chief of the French expeditionary army (1780‒82) during the American Revolution. Some of the maps were used by Rochambeau during the war. Dating from 1717 to 1795, the maps cover much of eastern North America, from Newfoundland and Labrador in the north to Haiti in the south. The collection includes maps of cities, maps showing Revolutionary War battles and military campaigns, and early state maps from the 1790s.

Orphanage Kindergarten in Brest-Litovsk, Poland

This photograph shows kindergarten teachers and pupils in a yard of the orphanage on Pushkinskaya Street in Brest-Litovsk, Poland (Yiddish, Brisk; present-day Brest, Belarus). After World War I and the Russo-Polish War that followed (1919‒20), there were tens of thousands of Jewish orphans in Poland. The Joint Distribution Committee of American Funds for the Relief of Jewish War Sufferers (later the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, both names abbreviated as JDC) was formed in 1914 to send aid, including food, clothing, medicine, funds, and emergency supplies, to the stricken Jews of Europe during the war. The war left in its wake many additional catastrophes—pogroms, epidemics, famine, revolution, and economic ruin—and after the war the JDC continued to play a major role in rebuilding the devastated Jewish communities of Eastern Europe and in sustaining the Jews in Palestine. The JDC supported homes, both public and private, for orphaned children such as those shown here. The photograph is from the archives of the JDC, which contain documents, photographs, film, video, oral histories, and artifacts recording the work of the organization from World War I to the present.

Jewish War Orphans Arrive in the United States

This photograph from 1921 shows a group of children orphaned as a result of World War I, newly arrived in New York harbor and about to begin a new life, posing with American flags. The war brought devastation to communities across Europe, leaving behind needy populations, including hundreds of thousands of orphans. In Central and Eastern Europe, the collapse of empires and onset of revolution prolonged the disorder, famine, and disease that began during the war. For Jews, there was the added danger of pogroms. The Joint Distribution Committee of American Funds for the Relief of Jewish War Sufferers (later the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, both names abbreviated as the JDC), founded in 1914 to provide relief during the war, continued its work in Poland and neighboring regions after the war. In 1920 it created the War Orphans Bureau, which played a crucial role in facilitating the emigration of Jewish children from Eastern Europe to the United States and elsewhere. The image is from the archives of the JDC, which contain documents, photographs, film, video, oral histories, and artifacts recording the work of the organization from World War I to the present. The JDC has provided food, clothing, medicine, child care, job training, and refugee assistance in more than 90 countries since 1914.

Children Wearing Makeshift Coats from Flour Sacks outside an Orphanage in Grodno, Poland

These children in Grodno, Poland (present-day Hrodna, Belarus) were among tens of thousands of Jewish war orphans who between 1914 and 1920 had lost one or both parents on the battlefield, in military hospitals, or from epidemics, starvation, and other war-related causes. The Joint Distribution Committee of American Funds for the Relief of Jewish War Sufferers (later the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, both names abbreviated as JDC) was formed in 1914 to send aid, including food, clothing, medicine, funds, and emergency supplies, to the stricken Jews of Europe during the war. When the war ended, the JDC launched a general plan to care for Jewish war orphans, providing room and board, clothing, education, medical attention, and social welfare. At first, limited supplies of clothing led to the use of improvised outfits, made from the sacks used to transport American flour. This wire-service photograph is from the archives of the JDC, which contain documents, photographs, film, video, oral histories, and artifacts recording the work of the organization from World War I to the present.

Men Load a Joint Distribution Committee Vehicle onto a Bridge during a Field Trip in Poland

The Russian Civil War (1918−20) made travel through disputed territories difficult and dangerous. Even if cities and towns were reachable by train (where they were still operating), humanitarian relief workers had to travel to hundreds of isolated villages and to move quickly between them. Roads and bridges could not be counted on. Most motor vehicles of the day were open to the elements, required hand-cranking to start the engine, and reached top speeds of 65−70 kilometers per hour. The Joint Distribution Committee of American Funds for the Relief of Jewish War Sufferers (later the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, both names abbreviated as JDC) was formed in 1914 to send aid, including food, clothing, medicine, funds, and emergency supplies, to the stricken Jews of Europe during the war. The war left in its wake many additional catastrophes—pogroms, epidemics, famine, revolution, and economic ruin—and after the war the JDC continued to play a major role in rebuilding the devastated Jewish communities of Eastern Europe and in sustaining the Jews in Palestine. This photograph of a JDC automobile shows how many hands were needed to get the vehicle across a river on a crude, damaged wooden bridge during a field trip to Rovno, Dubno, and Polonnoye (in present-day Ukraine, at that time part of Poland). The JDC sent relief workers as soon as entry to the war zone was possible. This photograph, from a relief worker's field trip in 1920, is in the archives of the JDC, which contain documents, photographs, film, video, oral histories, and artifacts recording the work of the organization from World War I to the present.